Your Life Is Not a Children's Movie

"These (literally) childish plot devices are eerily similar to the popular conversations surrounding career planning. The passion culture tells us that the key to an extraordinary life is to look deep, be true to your inner passion, and courageously ignore the naysayers as you pursue your dream." -- Cal Newport

Animated children's movies are becoming more formulaic and perpetrating the cult of self-esteem. Whether you're a rat that wants to cook or a panda that wants to be a kung-fu master the key seems to be simply believing in yourself. While this is perhaps harmless (although that's debatable) in a children's movie, Cal makes the point that much of today's career advice sounds a lot like Disney movies. From a popular career guide:

"You see, I believe you already have everything you need inside of you. You are good enough the way you are. You’ve simply learned ideas that keep you from living up to your full potential.”


Cal points out that this is not deep wisdom. Finding your passion and overcoming naysayers does not a successful career make. Real life is much messier, complicated, and frankly boring, than most career advice would have you believe. 

Find something that at least holds your interest for a little bit. Become completely engaged in it and develop your skills to the point where you actually have expertise. Continue exploring the process and refining the skills of your chosen profession and you're likely to see passion emerge. It's not something to be found and there aren't naysayers holding you back from the life you're "meant" to live. 

You are not a crop duster that wants to become a world class racer or a snail that wants to go fast. You are a person who has control over where you put your attention and energy. That's a super power most children's movies have yet to explore.